"" Writer's Wanderings: Books For The Road - The Hiding Place

Monday, November 22, 2010

Books For The Road - The Hiding Place

At my prompting, our book club decided to read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, ghosted by Elizabeth and John Sherrill. The Ten Boom family was instrumental in saving the lives of many Jews and others involved in the Dutch underground. I remembered reading the book many years ago and a couple of years ago we had the privilege of visiting the Ten Boom home above the old watch shop that was the family's business. Suggesting the reading was a shameful way of getting to show my pictures of our trip.

As the story goes, Corrie, her sister, Betsie, and their father hid Jews in their apartment until they could safely make it out of the city of Haarlem just outside of Amsterdam. The hiding place was in a false wall in Corrie's bedroom accessed through a small square cut in the bottom of the built-in shelves. They did this for almost a year before being discovered and arrested by the Germans and then transported eventually to a concentration camp. Casper Ten Boom died ten days after the arrest and Betsie died just shortly before Corrie was released (which turned out to be a bookkeeping error of the camp).

Betsie was the heart and soul of hope and optimism through her faith in Jesus. We all agreed our favorite part was when Corrie discovered the barracks was infested with fleas. Her sister tells her to be thankful for the fleas--that they needed to be thankful to God in all circumstances. Corrie swallowed hard and tried. Several days later she discovered that the reason the prisoners were so free to do what they wanted in their barracks was because the guards would not enter due to the fleas. It allowed them to have Bible studies and prayer time together with the others.

While there was much horror during the Holocaust, the book does not go into detail. It doesn't ignore it, but it treats it in a way that makes even a more delicate reader able to digest the message of thanksgiving and the telling of the Hope that we can cling to in the direst circumstance. And learn that the best hiding place is in our Savior.

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